Today’s Headlines

  • Cuomo Hot to Grant Uber a Statewide License; David Gantt: Not So Fast (Politico 1, 2)
  • Cuomo Hired a TV Anchor to Be the “Public Face” of His Tappan Zee Bridge (LoHud)
  • Andrew Cuomo Is the Public Face of This: Gothamist, WABCPost, News
  • App-Based Service Aiming to Enter Yellow Cab Market Gets TLC Approval (Politico)
  • Drivers Critically Injure 2 in Borough Park and Lower Manhattan; NYPD: No Criminality (Post)
  • How About More DOT Street Redesigns and Fewer Child Memorial Signs (DNA)
  • MTA Expects Sandy-Damaged South Ferry Station to Reopen in 2017 (Advance)
  • Restoration of Flushing Meadows Corona Park World’s Fair Pavilion Is Underway (Times Ledger)
  • Frederick Douglass Circle Has Become an Impromptu Skateboard Park (DNA)
  • Psycho Assaults Cross-Country Citi Bike Rider and the Post Thinks He Had It Coming

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • BBnet3000

    Victim blaming by the New York Post? Inconceivable!

  • John

    The local resident complaining about the skaters in Douglass circle says that nobody goes there because they’re terrified of the skaters. I believe he actually has the causality reversed. The skaters are there because there’s nobody else who wants to use the park, not vice versa. Even in the video he shot, you can see that there’s a whole half of the plaza that nobody is using, not even the skaters. And the reason nobody wants to use the park is that the design is atrocious. It’s a paved plaza with absolutely no grass, only a handful of tiny trees, and spartan granite blocks as sorry excuses for “benches.” Incidentally, these same features that keep park users out of this paved, windswept expanse also attract skaters. The fact that they use it is the only thing that keeps this plaza from being a complete waste of space.

    If the city is going to make changes to the park to prevent skating, they need to make changes to attract people to actually sit there for a while, so that it doesn’t become a totally abandoned space. These changes could include introducing more ergonomic benches, removing concrete, adding grass and flower beds, or adding more shade tress.

  • bolwerk

    There should be a support group for grown men who are scared of skaters.

  • Greg

    Where are they blaming him? I see nothing but a sympathetic angle from the cyclist’s viewpoint.

  • BBnet3000

    You are correct (though I stand by my statement about The Post in general). I didn’t actually click through before.

    Brad mischaracterized the Post article I’d say. They even call the truck driver a bully, and I wouldn’t say that the opening statement that NYC drivers “hold a grudge” against Citibike users implies that said drivers are being fair.

  • Joe R.

    My guess is if you make the park unfriendly to skateboards they’ll go elsewhere where they’ll cause more disruption than if the city had just left them alone. An analogous situation are cyclists who ride for sport at Central Park. Once they lowered the speed limit to 20 mph and cracked down on cyclists passing red lights, a lot of those people started doing their business on city streets, where they arguably create more issues.

    Sometimes there are unintended consequences and it’s better to just leave well enough alone. Does NYC even have any parks expressly designed for skateboarding? If not, then that’s all the more reason for just leaving things alone here. It may not be a great situation, but based on your description this doesn’t look like a place where people would want to congregate anyway. In fact, the location alone, right in the middle of a traffic circle, frankly doesn’t strike me as a place people will go to sit even if the benches were changed.

  • Greg

    Okay, I was wondering if I was missing something obvious. 🙂

    No worries – I hate the Post on general principle too, but credit where credit is due…

  • Alexander Vucelic

    I see a subtle Shift in the Posts articles on traffic violence. it’s better than 2 years ago. Not anywhere close to accurate reporting yet. The Post Suits might be sensing a change in the winds and are trying to subtly adjust their coverage of these atrocities.

  • qrt145

    I don’t think the main issue is the design (although it probably doesn’t help), but the size and location. Who would want to go and sit in the middle of a small traffic circle? Especially if you have Central Park right there?

    Columbus Circle does see significant usage, but it is twice as large, is in an area with an order of magnitude more pedestrian traffic, and is the most natural way to get across.

  • qrt145

    My guess is that if he had been assaulted by a Real New Yorker the Post would have taken the motorist’s side. But since he was a assaulted by a Redneck from the Boondocks, it was easier for the Post to be sympathetic.

  • Brad Aaron

    The lede sets up a straw man — drivers everywhere “hold a grudge against Citi Bike users,” as if this is even generally true in NYC — and assert that the victim “found out the hard way,” i.e. should have known, that riding a Citi Bike makes you a target of aggression and violence. Like some rando redneck in Oklahoma even knows what a Citi Bike is.

    My guess is an editor up the chain wrote or altered the lede, given the tone of the rest of the story. But the first paragraph seems pretty gleeful to me.

  • Pat
  • r

    It might help to swap in any other group of people for “Citi Bike users” and see how it reads:

    “Apparently, it’s not just Big Apple motorists who hold a grudge against women, as a Manhattan woman found out the hard way while [traveling] cross country.”

  • djx

    I live five short blocks from there and walk by it often. The skaters aren’t disrupting anything. The complaints are nonsense.

  • Corey Huinker

    I see no victim blaming in the article, and would expect none, because the person who wrote the article is an avid bike rider.

  • Matthias

    Maybe, but it doesn’t seem fair to say that the “Post Thinks He Had It Coming”.

  • Matthias

    Agreed–the plaza is poorly-designed and uninviting. No one sits there with or without skaters (in fact I haven’t seen anyone, skaters or non-skaters, use it ever). Duke Ellington Circle is even worse.

  • SSkate

    There are a bunch of skate parks around town. Three in Manhattan IIRC. But they’re out of the way and they’re not open 24 hours, so if you’re out with your skateboard homies at 9 p.m., you’re going to go somewhere like Douglass Circle which is otherwise empty.

  • Joe R.

    This just gives yet another reason for NYC to end the silly practice of closing parks at night. Public parks should be open 24/7. No reason a person can’t enjoy walking in a park at 3 AM (or skateboarding in a skate park).

  • ahwr

    Skateboards make a lot of noise. How many of those have neighbors that don’t want to deal with that noise in the middle of the night?

    >Public parks should be open 24/7

    How about a middle ground where only some activities are permitted 24/7. Say if someone wants to sit on a bench, go for a walk or a bike ride, or have a midnight picnic. But larger gatherings or skate events that tend to be much louder that might be tolerated during the day have restricted hours.

  • Joe R.

    Middle ground is fine with me so long as parks remain open to quiet activities 24/7.

  • Matthias

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  • Matthias

    Sure. I think the main issue is that people get ticketed for walking through a park that is the logical path from Point A to B.

  • In at least one location, they do seem to differentiate between using a park and riding through a park.

    Randall’s Island, like all parks, is officially closed at night. But the Triborough Bridge remains open; and riding through that island to get from one spur of the bridge to another seems to be allowed.

  • ahwr

    Is it allowed, or tolerated? It’s not in general true that you can walk through a park at night. It is in Boston.

    SECTION 1. No person shall, in any public park (including any boundary road thereof), or other public place (including any parkway) under the control of the Parks and Recreation Commission:

    (f) enter, or remain in, any public park between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on any day except for the purpose of going through such park on the walks or malls thereof unless specific request is made for a particular facility, written to the Commissioner, and brought before the Commission and approved. The Parks Commissioner can postpone or cancel events due to inclement weather or public safety.

  • walks bikes drives

    Uh, wow. There is a whole lot more to that story…

  • walks bikes drives

    They are worse than just not open 24 hours, I have seen them barely open during daylight hours. If they want to get kids to stop practicing all over the place all the time, they need those skate park open, at least, for all hours the parks are open. The hours they keep are pathetic, and I’m not even a skater.